8 July 16
Candle gifts

Hygge Candles & Gifts at Melt
(pronounced Hoo-guh or Hoo-ga)

– Yep! We had to google it too!

When a Danish customer commented a few years ago that we ran our business in a very hyggeligt way, we were slightly bemused. It was not a word we were familiar with and when we asked for an explanation of Hygge – that was where the fun started.

A cup of coffee, several pieces of cake and an hours conversation later (very Hygge as it turns out) we started to grasp it.

The meaning of Hygge
It isn’t a word that translates easily into the English language; the nearest would probably be “cosy”, but this in itself is far too simplistic and incomplete.

The Germans call it “Germutlichkeit”, the Turks “Huzur” – whilst in Bulgaria it’s “Yiom”. And of course Ireland has their “craic”.

It appears to be many things – all of which unite to create a particular atmosphere and sense of well-being.

It is an appreciation of the small, simple, good things in life; a happiness and contentment with one’s lot.

The BBC News Magazine ran an article in 2015 where they said “Sitting by the fire on a cold night, wearing a woolly jumper, while drinking mulled wine and stroking a dog – probably surrounded by candles. That’s definitely “hygge”.

Lecturer Susanne Nilsson who runs a Danish language course at Morley College in central London explains “Hygge could be families and friends getting together for a meal, with the lighting dimmed, or it could be time spent on your own reading a good book.”

Or, as Jessica Colley explains – “A hyggeligt moment has it all: a sense of true friendship or love, generous time to eat and drink, and that signature candlelit glow”.

Another lovely definition which really helped us get on track is as follows:

Hygge (“heu-gah”). The art of building sanctuary and community, of inviting closeness and paying attention to what makes us feel open hearted and alive. To create well-being, connection and warmth. A feeling of belonging to the moment and to each other. Celebrating the everyday.

Hygge happens when we commit to the pleasure of the present moment in its simplicity. It’s there in the small rituals and gestures we undertake to give everyday life value and meaning, that comfort us, make us feel at home, rooted and generous.

We all hygge – around a table for a shared meal, beside a fire on a wet night, making coffee together at work, in the bath with a single candle, wrapped in blankets at the end of a day on the beach, sheltering from the rain at a bus stop, lying spoons, baking in a warm kitchen, alone in bed with a hot water bottle and a good book.

In our overstretched, complex, modern lives, hygge is a resourceful, tangible way to find deeper connection to our families, our communities, our children, our homes and our earth. It’s an uncomplicated, practical method of weaving the stuff of spirit and heart into daily life without sentimentality then taking time to celebrate it on a human scale.

Hygge is a kind of enchantment – a way of stirring the senses, the heart and the imagination, of acknowledging the sacred and special things in our lives.

So, yes! We agree that we run our small business and manufacture our candles in a very Hyggeligt way.

We’re the first to admit that we don’t have a tough commute to work – and the walk down the lane gives us the time to appreciate the beautiful Ribble Valley and all she has to offer.

Twitter lane takes us from the village, to the farm gate, and back again. Dotted with Oak and Beech and enclosed by miles of hedgerows, it falls just inside the Forest of Bowland (AONB) and the wildlife is varied and diverse – from Deer, Badger, Hare, Buzzard and Peregrine Falcon to the much more rare and elusive Hen Harrier, there is much to see and appreciate…and you notice so much more on foot.

The changing seasons are particularly evident here and we’ve become accustomed to the rain that hugs Pendle Hill. There is an old local saying – “ If you can see Pendle Hill it’s about to rain…if you can’t, it already is” – which sums it up nicely. That said, we have an abundance of flag floored, fire lit pubs which don’t object to wet boots (or dogs ) – and the Ribble Valley Food Trail is well documented.

In short, It is a very traditional and highly sociable area which values its roots and customs….and welcomes visitors with open arms.

All our candle manufacturing is done by hand to protect and preserve the properties of the beautiful raw materials we work with. It a slow and gentle process well suited to the working farm where our workshop is situated – and we have slowly gathered the llamas, geese, rescue hens and beehives in the fields outside the workshop doors, which give a wonderful rhythm and heartbeat to our working day. And our small team are free to work their day around family events and commitments.

Our explanation of Hygge could be summed up in the following words:

Nurturing, nourishing, appreciative, relaxing, unhurried, gracious, intimate, gentle, contented, attentive, safe and uncompetitive.

It’s much more than just lighting a candle…but it’s not a bad place to start!